Reflection statements can be a tricky form of writing. This is because not only does it require you to have made intentional and purposeful creative decisions whilst composing your specific work (whether this is an imaginative, discursive or persuasive), but also that you are able to clearly and appropriately justify and evaluate those decisions to the marker.
Reflection statements are a form of writing that involves analysis and deconstruction of the literary choices (e.g. language techniques) that were used in a specific work, whereby you discuss the intended purpose and effect of particular devices in shaping meaning and in the representation of ideas within your piece of writing. Additionally, it is very common that you will also have to analyse learning how writing was crafted in another text (usually your prescribed text) influenced your ability to synthesise your own work, alongside how you approached the given stimulus.
A full scoring reflection statement typically does a good job at balancing analysis between the prescribed text, stimulus and personal text, whilst also taking into consideration the following:
- Purpose of the work (what was the underlying concept or idea at the core of your piece i.e. What was it exactly that you were trying to represent? How have you used devices and techniques to achieve your idea? How did you structure your work to achieve the intended purpose?)
For instance, one may say something like: "My creative piece aims to provide an intimate glimpse into the complex interrelations between one's physical environment and subjective feelings, drawing on the wider philosophical discourse surrounding how human beings are both shaped and constructed by their exterior landscape."
- Audience (what was the intended effect of particular devices on the audience? How was a specific technique meant to make the audience feel? How was a device meant to interact with the audience?)
For example, we might say something like: "The use of the rhetorical questions "Where is your home?" and "Why do I feel this? Right now? Here." throughout my work, prompts readers to reflect and introspect upon their own psyche and how the thoughts, emotions and feelings which flow through them on a moment-to-moment basis is intrinsically linked with their physical reality, and how their body is both situated and orientated within a wider landscape. By using the 'home' as an extended metaphor representative of the diverse biomes one can be embedded, I create a penetrating universality in my piece as each responder will have a different conception of what their 'home' is."
- Form (this involves demonstrating a good understanding of the objective and conventions of the specific form that you have written in e.g. a distinguishing between the way of writing seen in persuasives versus that of a discursive and creative piece).
- Inspiration (this involves analysis of either your prescribed texts or the stimulus e.g. how were specific devices learned about from the prescribed text repurposed into your own work in order to achieve a new purpose or objective?).
For example, one may write something like: "Inspired by Nam Le's use of motif in his fictional work 'Love and Honour' as a means of depicting the relationship between desire and language, the convergence between the physical environment and human subjectivity was similarly depicted through the motif of the 'walls', 'floorboards', 'windows' and 'curtains'. By tying these images with the character's 'unrequited yearning' and emotional 'stillness', the physical and emotional become resonant with each other to effectively achieve my overarching purpose."
- Process of writing (This is one of the more neglected sites of analysis but usually markers want to understand the process of writing and how the piece was constructed i.e. what specific things did you have to keep in mind whilst writing based on the feedback you received whilst drafting? How did you implement critiques into your work? What parts of the work needed revision and refinement and how did you go about addressing these?)
In summary, reflection writing involves active thinking about how you went about creating your work in a meaningful and deliberate way. It requires a focus on how specific decisions were made with the intent of achieving a wider objective. Through this, it is assumed that students will be more intentional in how they write and ensure that they use language in such a way that it achieves a specific purpose.